Representatives from Australian road transport and logistics industries have joined forces to launch the first single national industry-wide approach to tackling mental health and wellbeing.
The Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds Foundation is an initiative between road transport, warehousing and logistics operators to support drivers and logistics workers with issues relating to mental health and physical wellbeing.
Woolworths Group, Coles, Linfox, Toll, Qube and Ron Finemore Transport have all combined as corporate partners of the Foundation with support from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and the Federal Government.
Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds patron Lindsay Fox said: ”I’ve seen the impacts mental health can have on people in our industry and I know it’s time we speak up on this issue as much as we have done on safety.”
Mental health and wellbeing is a major issue in the Australian road transport and logistics sector with one in two transport workers having had a lived experience as reported by leading mental health organisation SuperFriend. According to its 2019 Indicators of a Thriving Workplace Survey, the transport, postal and warehousing industries ranked lowest for mentally healthy workplaces out of 19 other industries, with only 37% of the industry taking action to improve outcomes.
Paul Graham, Chair of Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds, said: “We want everyone in our industry to know it's OK to not feel OK and that our mental health needs to be actively managed just like our physical health.
“In our industries, we face additional challenges based on the nature of our work. Drivers and logistics workers often feel pressure from long hours, fatigue, traumatic incidents, isolation and social disconnection.
“This can lead to things like depression, anxiety, poor diet, lack of exercise, addictions, family problems at home and a whole raft of other issues.
“Together we believe we can create not just a better environment for people to work in but a safer place for individual mental health and wellbeing.”
The Foundation is built on three key pillars: increasing the number of people trained in mental health at road transport facilities nationally; standardising policies and processes across transport and logistics industries to destress the environment for drivers; and focusing on individual mental health and improved wellness through education and resources.
The Foundation relies on its partnerships, industry sponsorship and government funding to carry out its objectives.
In the future, the Foundation aspires to be the overarching umbrella body for the road transport and logistics industry for mental health and wellbeing.
For more information and to watch the launch video, go to healthyheads.org.au